Safe Passage's Annual Report

Safe Passage, a non-profit based in Yarmouth, ME, provides support and education to children and families who make their meager living scavenging in and around one of the world's largest garbage dumps in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Safe Passage operates a school for younger children, sponsors older children's state education, organizes community activities, supports entrepreneurship, and provides literacy classes to men and women of all ages.


Safe Passage approached me several years ago to design their 2008 annual report. The report, which they had always created in-house, aims to encourage donations and volunteership as well as communicating the fiscal state of the organization. The 2008 report, in which my design took cues from a then-new set of brand standards developed by the VIA Group, garnered both a positive response and an increase in donations. The following year, I was fortunate to once again have the opportunity to design their annual report and also design a new website for the organization, which won a Tech Maine Best of the Web award.

When Safe Passage asked me to take on their 2010 Annual Report, and to look at doing design for a custom email newsletter and blog, it made sense to bring them on as a client. For the report, I was excited to have Sean's input on page layout and graphics. I can tend to be a bit structured and formal in my design, and had always followed a consistent grid with this publication. Sean brought a fresh burst of color, movement and variation to this year's design that gave it a sense of youthful energy—perfect for an organization which exists to bring life to young people's dreams, be they creative or educational.

In addition to laying out the full-color 12-page booklet and the accompanying cover letter and donor remittance envelopes, we worked with Edison Press to coordinate printing and variable data mailings to 4 different groups of donors and supporters. Response has been very positive with donations beginning to pour in just days after the initial mailings went out.

It's always rewarding to really get to know a brand and to help it grow and evolve over time as conditions and priorities shift within an organization. I've been honored to work with Safe Passage over the years and to help them craft communications pieces that through hard times and joyful times continue to carry their mission of hope forward and grow their wordwide community.